Monthly Archives: August 2007

Shopping is Bad for the Planet

Somehow this post over on Treehugger doesn’t surprise me. It seems that by cutting back on your shopping, you can do more for the environment than you would just trying to cut back on energy and water use.


After all the misery I went through trying to find good shoes for being in a wedding, I can agree. Even though that’s not the point of the article. But driving around that much looking for shoes was definitely not one of my greener moments. Should have given it up sooner.

The real point, of course, is that you should consume responsibly. Buy what you need to and quit buying extra stuff.

That’s more easily said than done, of course. Especially since you have to count buying excess green products into the equation. Even though these things are made in more sustainable ways, you shouldn’t be buying things you don’t really need.

I’ve spent more on clothes this year alone than I think I’ve spent the past 5 years combined. I really don’t buy a lot of clothes as a rule. My wardrobe would horrify many people I know for it’s plainness. But I’m at home. I don’t NEED a huge range of clothes. Just stuff good enough that I feel good in them, look good enough in, and isn’t falling to pieces. And that’s the kind of thing you need to figure out for yourself.
Getting into the habit of using things a longer time is one of the best things we can do. And even when you or I would consider something to be past usefulness, often enough someone else would be glad to have it. Many clothes and household items can be donated or sold rather than thrown out.

For that matter, much shopping can be done from resale shops. Some areas have really good ones where you can get beautiful, barely used merchandise for much less than new. I love stuff like that.

Technorati Tags: ,

Antibacterial Soaps Just Not Effective

Just a quick post here. I was watching my local news when I saw them talking about how it has been shown that antibacterial soaps really are not more effective at killing germs than regular soaps. In fact, they can make bacteria more resistant.

Obviously I had to jump online so I could share this. I found an article on it from Forbes for those who want to read up on it.

But all I can think is that it was pretty obvious long ago that this was the case. Most people don’t use antibacterial products in the way that they need to be used in order to be effective. Of course they’re not effective!

Besides which, they apparently don’t contain enough triclosan to do the job.

I’m just delighted to hear this. Now if we could just more of the plain soaps more easily available. It amazes me how hard it is to get regular soaps (not antibacterial) if you look at the usual products. You just about have to go for natural products to avoid it.

Technorati Tags:

Being Greener When You Rent

Renting can be frustrating when you want to go green. There are a lot of things you just don’t have control over. You generally don’t own the appliances, can’t install solar panels, etc. It gets annoying sometimes.

I deal with this a lot as I do still rent. We’re fortunate enough to be renting a house rather than an apartment, but there are still a lot of limitations.

Start By Saving Energy

Even when you can’t replace that cranky old refrigerator, you can still save energy. Start with the light bulbs. Switch out to compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs. In many areas you can find them at a discount through your local electric company. I’ve seen them under $2.50 for a 3-pack in my area due to discounts run through my power company. Take advantage.


There is one catch to CFLs if you have a lot of closed fixtures. The standard spiral bulbs don’t work as well in closed fixtures. According to, you are best off using a reflector CFL in these areas. Similarly, if you have dimmer switches, you will want to be sure that your bulbs will work with these.

Also try to find out about recycling these, as they have a small amount of mercury and should not be just thrown in the trash. In my area Kohl’s recycles them.

You should also think more about when you are using electricity. Power down the computer if you won’t be using it for a time. Unplug appliances that don’t need to be plugged in all the time. Unplug the cell phone charger and other chargers.

Power strips can also be a big help. Use them to shut off all power to multiple items at once. This takes care of the “phantom load” that many electrical items have where they use electricity even when off. Often this is to run a clock or other nonessential. If you don’t need it to have electricity 24/7, find a way to make shutting it off all the way easy. Continue reading →

The Right to a Clothesline?

This is really cool, I think. There’s a new movement trying to get states to make laws keeping homeowner’s associations from banning clotheslines.

I love the idea. So far as I’m concerned, most homeowner’s associations go too far in trying to protect property values in their area. The back yard really is none of their business, even if it can be seen from the street.

I’ve seen them be too invasive in other areas, such as one that demanded trash cans be out no more than an hour before or after pickup. Yes, really. Happened to my husband’s friend. All a part of why I would do a lot to live in an area without homeowner’s associations once I can buy my own.

I still haven’t figured out what to do about a clothesline in the house we’re renting. So far as I’m concerned, the huge part of the yard covered in nothing but woodchips is utterly perfect, except that there’s nothing to attach one to. The back fence is cinderblock with rebar and filled with concrete (massively overbuilt, I have no idea why).

But for those of you who haven’t been able to hang a clothesline due to HOAs, there’s light at the end of that tunnel in some states.

Technorati Tags: , ,